Broncos squeeze past Indians, 13-12, in ‘Backyard Brawl’

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Many spectators were there for both teams, and the rain held back its appearance for the annual big game of the year, “The Backyard Brawl,” between the Southampton County Indians and the Franklin Broncos. The game was played at Southampton High School on Friday, and it went down to 4.9 seconds with the possibility that either team could win. As in all past years, one can throw away all records as the two teams play for the local bragging rights.

The game opened with the Broncos taking the first possession of the ball and easily scoring on a 3-yard run by LaSean Nichols-Porter. The kick by Leon Otto failed but the Broncos opened scoring with 6-0 at 5:09 in the first quarter. The Indians on their first possession were stopped and turned the ball over to the Broncos. The first quarter ended with the Broncos up 6-0.

In the second quarter the Indians recovered a Bronco fumble, but could not capitalize on it. Neither team was able to score and the half ended with the Broncos up 6-0.

Late in the third quarter at the 3:41 mark, the Broncos cranked up the offense and scored on an 11-yard touchdown run by Lee Curtis. The Leon Otto kick was good to put the Broncos up 13-0.

It wasn’t until the final quarter of play that the Indian offense was able to get moving. It turned as their quarterback Shaquil Jarrett broke free on a big 62-yard run. Running back Demartin Miles carried the ball across the goal line at 10:41 for the Indians first score of the game. The 2-point conversion failed but they were now on the scoreboard trailing 6-13.

The Broncos, hoping to seal a win with another score, drove deep into Indian territory but at the 4:09 mark turned the ball back over to the Indians. Demartin Miles on a big run advanced the ball to the Bronco 16-yard line on a run with now 2:05 remaining to be played. The Indians on another run moved the ball to the Bronco 6-yard line, and were faced with 4th and short for a first down with 1:25 on the clock. On the play, the Broncos were off side and the penalty resulted in a first down for the Indians on the 1-yard line and first and goal.

After a failed attempt, Miles crossed the goal line on a end run to score. The score was now Broncos 13 and the Indians 12 with 4.9 left in the game. After a time-out, the Indians went for win or lose with a 2-point conversion attempt. With that small amount of time on the clock, it was assured that this would be the last score of the game to declare the winner. All eyes watched as the ball was hiked and the offense began to make a move toward the goal line. All eyes watched as the Bronco defense made a game-winning stop of the runner.

As the final horn sounded and the Broncos won the game with the score of 13-12. Yes, there was much excitement for the Broncos and their fans. Yes, also, there was much disappointment by the Indians and their fans. But with it all, both teams and their coaches lined up and marched across the field to shake hands and congratulate each other in a great show of sportsmanship.

For the Indians, in rushing they gained a total of 213 yards with Demartin Miles  leading with 131 yards. Shawuil Jarret followed with 75 yards. On defense, Ray Warren led in tackles with 8 followed by John Johnson with 7.

For the Broncos, they had a total of 269 yards rushing with LeSean Nichols-Porter leading with 168 yards and Tyvon Carr followed with 62 yards. On defense, Kemond Rogers lead in tackles with 8 and Juhan Carr & Jamontre Jones followed with 7 tackles apiece. 

Southampton head coach Littleton Parker said after the game, “We had a good ball game tonight and the team that made the less mistakes won the ball game and that is what it boiled down to. A close one, but when Franklin and Southampton play, that is what you expect.”

The Broncos’ head coach Karl Robertson in his comments after the game said, “It was a great win tonight  —the team stayed together. The motto was ‘Bend, but not break,’ and that is exactly what we did. We had to make a big stand at the end. We did have some missed opportunities especially in the first half, but we never got our heads down. We came back and kept fighting. We played a really good team tonight, a really good team.

And we had to deal with some adversity with some people going down, but at the end of the day we stayed faithful to each other and stayed faithful to the system and the coaches. And even the coaches stayed faithful to each other as well, and the bottom line is that we were able to pull it out. It was a blessing tonight, truly a blessing. And now we have to prepare for the playoff week. We will come back to the office on Monday and we will go from there.”

For the first round of the Region A play offs, the Broncos will be at home on Friday against the Washington & Lee Eagles of Montross. Kick-off time is 7 p.m.